This October, writer Marc Andreyko will be introducing a new duo to DC Comics‘ New 52 universe, Black Lightning and Blue Devil. The 5-part story, titled “Black & Blue,” will be featured in DC Universe Presents, starting with issue 13. Andreyko took the time to answer some questions about his upcoming story and reintroducing these popular characters into the DCU.
1. The “Black & Blue” story came about during a conversation with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio, had you ever thought about this pairing prior to then?
Honestly? Nope. But the moment I heard the concept, I was intrigued and story ideas just popped into my head. it’s one of those “why didn’t I ever think of that?” moments:)
2. Black Lightning, a driven Olympic athlete, and Blue Devil, let’s just say, an “underachiever,” is an opposites attract partnership, much like in “The Odd Couple” or the “Lethal Weapon” movies. Given their differences, what makes them a compelling team?
The fact that they represent two extremes in the superheroic world: Devil is magic and Lightning is science.
3. Through the course of this initial 5-part storyline in DC Universe Presents, will the main focus be on how the two heroes meet and become partners?
After much thought/debate, it’s been decided to go with the first meeting of these two as heroes. Some origin beats will be covered, some will be left to reveal later. But, yeah, this story covers the first time Blue Devil and Black Lightning fight next to each other.
4. What can you reveal about the villain of the story? Is it a new villain, a re-imagined one or even one that has already appeared in the New 52 universe?
I could, but I won’t. 🙂 All I will give you is yes, yes, maybe.
The obvious guess for a re-imagined villain would be Bolt, a pre-New 52 Blue Devil villain with lightning powers. A very apt foe for the new Black & Blue duo.
5. Black Lightning, with his lightning powers, and Blue Devil, with his unique costume, are visually compelling characters, what can you tell readers about story artist Robson Rocha’s take on the characters?
I’m excited to see what Robson has up his sleeve as I was mighty impressed by his work on Demon Knights! 6. Throughout your Manhunter run, you used lower tier villains to great effect (Monocle, anyone?), as a fan of the original Blue Devil series, would you like to revitalize any of his old villains?
Oh, most definitely! And reimagining them as part of the new 52 could be a blast! I would love to introduce the Madmen!
Another example from your Manhunter run. The Madmen certainly could use a new home with Ted Kord no longer Blue Beetle.
On the flipside, having the opportunity to establish the Los Angeles setting in the New 52, gives you the means to introduce a number of heroes connected to the city as well. Zatanna, a stage show magician, and Striker Z, a stuntman who’s a living battery, come to mind.
7. With Blue Devil’s powers being magic based, and magic as a whole increasing its presence in the DCU, will Dan Cassidy have any larger connection to the other magical aspects of the DC Universe?
No comment. 🙂
Geoff Johns is also a Blue Devil fan, so it would not be surprising to see him show up in Johns’ “Trinity War” story, which certainly has magical components as evidenced in the DC Comics New 52 Free Comic Book Day issue.
8. Black Lightning has an important place in comics history as the first black super hero to star in his own DC Comics series, will his significance be reflected within his characterization in the New 52 universe?
Well, his race is a big part of him, but I’m definitely not writing him as a statement on race. As when I write any character, I try not to let one trait define them. As with all of us, we are more than the sum of our parts and I think it’s lazy writing, not to mention cliché as heck, to let one aspect rule characterization as much as it is to ignore a trait completely.
That was not the implication. Just whether Jefferson Pierce would be recognized within the DCU as one of the early minority heroes in the New 52 timeline and, for example, serve as an inspiration for others to become heroes, much like Superman is regarded as the first modern super hero and cited as an inspiration for various other heroes.
9. Finally, with “Black & Blue” set in Los Angeles, as was your Manhunter series, any chance of a Kate Spencer appearance? Has there been any talk with DC Comics about bringing her into the New 52 universe? You had to know that question was coming.
Well, to my knowledge, Kate is still the D.A. of Gotham. And I ask about bringing her back all the time. 🙂 That is, at least, confirmation that the character still exists within the New 52 universe. She could have easily been erased like many other descendants of World War II era characters. Hopefully, she returns under your pen soon and, also, fans get the long awaited collection to your Manhunter back-up story from Batman: Streets of Gotham.
Thank you, Marc, for taking the time to answer these questions and best of luck with the story in October.